Friday, June 29 in the news....
- Israel opened part of a major commercial crossing with Gaza on Thursday for the first time since the Islamist group Hamas seized control of the coastal strip two weeks ago, U.N. and Israeli officials said. Wheat was transferred weighing about 5,000 tonnes, and it will be processed in mills in Gaza. Some bags of wheat failed inspections at Hamas checkpoints and were consequently tied to the back of cars and dragged through the streets while Hamas militants shot at them.
- Israeli troops imposed a curfew on downtown Nablus and clashed with Fatah militants as the army's activities moved Thursday from Gaza to the West Bank. The Nablus raid was an indication that Israel will not stop fighting militants linked to President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement - even though Israel is supporting Abbas in his struggle against Hamas. After a dangerous day of skirmishes, both Israeli soldiers and Fatah members scanned out their clock cards, shook hands, and went home for the night.
- With U.S.-Russia relations at their lowest point in years, stirring memories of the Cold War, Bush hopes to ease tensions when the two leaders hold informal talks on Sunday and Monday at the Bush family estate in Kennebunkport, Maine. Bush has already organised an ice cream truck to continually drive around the grounds when they go on walks and has just installed a giant foot-operated electronic keyboard on the patio.